Some say that, if Bush decides to run, the Republican establishment will put pressure on Rubio to wait his turn. “This is the one window of opportunity for Governor Bush, and Senator Rubio will have many windows of opportunity in the future,” says American Conservative Union (ACU) president Al Cardenas, who served two terms as chairman of the Florida GOP when Bush was governor and Rubio was a state representative.
Others, though, including some who know them both, say the men will make their decisions independently. “I don’t think Jeb’s decision is going to hinge on who else is running,” Navarro says. “I suspect the same is true for Marco. The decision has to come from within them.”
Dual runs would undoubtedly complicate the Florida primary, should both enter the race and make it to that point. Bush and Rubio would compete for many of the same supporters, including Republicans who favor the sort of comprehensive immigration reform that Rubio championed in the Senate last year — Bush laid out a similar plan, though it does not include a path to citizenship, in his 2013 book Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution. One Republican strategist says that having Bush and Rubio in the race would touch off a “sub-primary” in Florida, which Bush would “clearly win.” “The momentum would clearly be with Jeb,” he says.